Remember last year’s sellout that wasn’t?
The Mint offered 225,000 2017 Enhanced Uncirculated Coin Sets beginning on Aug. 1, the first day of the American Numismatic Association World’s Fair of Money.
The coins were struck in San Francisco. They have an “S” mintmark on them.
Collectors and dealers went wild with their purchases.
A sellout was declared within hours.
Then the returns began.
The upshot was only 210,418 ended up really being sold.
In the aftermath, the Mint clamped down and revised its returns policy.
Almost one year later, on July 23, the Mint will try again.
But will it work?
This year’s offer is a silver reverse proof set.
That means all coins will have a mirrorlike surface on high points and frosting on the fields.
This is just the opposite of regular proofs, which have frosting on the high points and mirrorlike fields.
However, all 10 coins in last year’s set were made of base metals.
This year’s reverse proof set contains five silver quarters, a silver half and a silver dime.
The cent, nickel and Native American dollar will be their usual base metal selves.
Collectors often like silver coins more than base metal coins.
No doubt about that.
However, they will have to pay to get them and the 1.34 ounces of silver they contain.
Last year’s enhanced uncirculated set was $29.95.
The 2018 silver reverse proof set will be $54.95.
The precious metal adds 83 percent to the cost.
Maximum mintage will be 200,000 sets – 25,000 fewer than the enhanced set ceiling.
There will be a household order limit of 10 sets.
Last year’s set offer had no order limit.
The 2018 coins in the silver reverse proof set will also have “S” mintmarks to indicate their manufacture in San Francisco.
Has the Mint tweaked the details to assure an immediate sellout of this year’s special set without the hangover?
Money is tight in the current coin market.
Collectors might be less willing to jump in and buy this year’s offer.
On the other hand, it has been a while since the speculators zeroed in on a new Mint issue to try to make a killing on the secondary market.
They might be getting antsy.
Then again, the speculators might have their eye on the “S” mint proof silver American Eagle coin that will go on sale Aug. 14, the first day of this year’s ANA convention.
What is more certain is that if the 2018 silver reverse proof set is declared sold out, this time it very likely will stay that way.
Buzz blogger Dave Harper won the Numismatic Literary Guild Award for Best Blog for the third time in 2017 . He is editor of the weekly newspaper "Numismatic News."
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